"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Comic Books, Film
COMIC LEGEND: Harlan Ellison and John Romita Jr. nearly worked together on a Doctor Strange project for Marvel Comics.
STATUS: Basically True
Legendary author Harlan Ellison has mastered a variety of genres over the years, as well as a number of types of media, from books to movies to comic books.
During the 1990s, Ellison even wrote the plot for an episode of the Silver Surfer cartoon series!
That episode, “Antibody,” dealt with Surfer and a dying Galactus.
Later in the decade, Ellison decided to adapt his story another time, this time as a comic book for Marvel’s then-new Marvel Knights line of books, perhaps even illustrated by the head of Marvel Knights, Joe Quesada.
However, then Marvel went out and actually KILLED Galactus in late 1999 in Galactus the Devourer #6 by Louise Simonson, John Buscema and Bill Sienkiewicz…
So then Ellison decided to try to RE-pitch the story as a Doctor Strange story now! This time with John Romita Jr. on artwork!
In a Wonder Con write-up by Comic Book Resources in 2000:
Romita – teased unmercifully at a panel on Friday by fellow creators for his loyalty to Marvel, which they spun in the worst possible light – announced Saturday that he will likely be working outside Marvel once his contract ends.
“Until I finish out my contract in December, I’ll be doing lots of miniseries.”
Among the projects he will be doing is a project with Scott Lobdell and a three part Dr. Strange mini-series written by Harlan Ellison, who hand-picked Romita for the assignment.
The miniseries was originally intended to be about the Silver Surfer, but with the recent death of Galactus, things got tweaked a bit.
“Dormammu is dying,” Romita said. “If he dies, it throws the whole netherworld off, and Dr. Strange has to go inside him.”
Rich Johnston, however, very astutely found the following quote from Tom Brevoort soon after…
“Not to be a wet blanket or anything, but my understanding is that this is another project that hasn’t really even been submitted yet, much less approved. So while it’s still possible for it to happen, it’s nowhere near definite, other than that JRJR and Harlan seem to want to do it. In other words, for the time being put it in line right behind that Grant Morrison FF project.”
And a year later, Romita Jr. told Mike Jozic of Silver Bullets, “No. Tom’s right. It’s gone and out of the world. Working on Doctor Strange is a possibility, but not that story.”
Well, maybe someday! It sounds like a cool story! And Ellison and Romita Jr? That’s a great team!
Thanks to the Sequential Ellison for the scoop, and, of course, Romita, Rich Johnston, Tom Brevoort and Mike Jozic for all the information in said scoop.
Okay, that’s it for this week!
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